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Financial education, more relevant than ever in the post-pandemic era

EduFin Summit 2021, the conference on financial education organized the BBVA Center for Financial Education and Capability, will bring together leading international experts in this field of studies. According to experts, financial knowledge should play a more relevant role on people's lives, more so in the post-pandemic era.


This year’s edition of BBVA Edufin Summit will consist of a series of speeches and panel discussions, all of which will be held virtually over the course of five days. On Wednesday, May 12, BBVA Chairman Carlos Torres Vila will deliver the opening speech of an event that will gather some of the most authoritative voices in financial education, some of whom have already participated in past editions.

Financial education and sustainable finance

Deputy Governor of the Bank of Spain, Margarita Delgado and Flore-Anne Messy, Head of the Consumer Finance, Insurance and Pensions Division of the OECD, will be two of the guest panelists of the roundtable that will follow the opening speech, and which will focus on how financial education can help foster sustainable growth.

According to the OECD expert, who has shared her extensive knowledge in past editions on crucial topics such as the synergy between literacy and financial behavior or the role of digitization in financial education, "digitization offers great opportunities for consumers and is especially important in developing countries.”

Joining them will be Georgina Bakeralso, Regional Vice President- Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Central Asia of the International Finance Corporation; and Andrea Liesenfeld, Deputy Head of Unit Retail Financial Services at DG FISMA of the European Commission, who already announced last November that the Commission intends to “create tools to facilitate change and ensure financial competition.”

Liesenfeld was referring to the joint European Commission/OECD-INFE project to develop a financial competence framework in the European Union to address current issues such as financial digitization and sustainable finance.

Digital divide

The key topic on May 13 will be the link between financial literacy, digitization and broader access to financial services, as well as the main implications of the pandemic and the rapidly accelerating digitization trends that it has set into motion.

The international experts participating in this roundtable will be Andrés Portilla, Managing Director and Head Regulatory Affairs Department, Institute of International Finance (IIF), Juan Antonio Ketterer, Chief of the Connectivity, Markets and Finance Division, Inter-American Development Bank, Leora Klapper, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank and Ratna Sahay, Senior Advisor on Gender, IMF.


Financial vulnerability

One of the most dramatic effects of the pandemic has been the increase in the number of people in situations of financial vulnerability. On May 19, guest experts will discuss the role of financial education in improving the lives of the most vulnerable segments of society and the most disadvantaged groups.

The day will begin with three keynote speeches by leading experts in this field: Claudio González-Vega, Trustee of BBVA Microfinance Foundation, will talk about financial vulnerability at the base of the pyramid. "Good decisions improve chances of rising out of the poverty traps and not falling back into them after they are overcome," says this expert.

Magda Bianco, Head of Consumer protection and financial education department and Co - Chair GPFI Banca d’Italia and José Antonio Herce, Chairman of the BBVA Pensions Institute’s Experts Board, will deliver the two other presentations scheduled for the day, on reducing financial vulnerability through financial inclusion and digital financial services; and the specific case of savings as a shield for young and old against economic vulnerability, respectively.

The roundtable following the keynote speeches will be moderated by Alfonso Arellano, senior economist from BBVA Research. Joining him will be Payal Dalal, of the Center for Inclusive Growth, Mastercard, Mayada El-Zoghbi, Managing Director, Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion, and Wim Mijs, CEO of the European Banking Federation.

Collaboration frameworks

On the second to last day of the EduFin Summit (May 20), the key topic will be the terms of collaboration between the different stakeholders engaging in financial education, their scope and impact, as well as the need for common metrics and frameworks regarding skills.

Three experts will share their insights into the collaboration between different players in the field of financial education, from their own area of expertise. Gautam Bhardwaj, co-founder of pinBox Solutions, will discuss the benefits of collaborative frameworks for financial service providers (banks, microfinance, 'bigtech', fintech, etc.) with a specific focus on digital finance. Carmen Pérez, managing director of Nantik Lum, will talk about her experience with social enterprises working closely with the most vulnerable people, that know their needs and have earned their trust.

Finally, Diana Mejía, senior specialist in financial inclusion at CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, will return to the summit to talk about the key challenges facing financial inclusion and education policies, in terms of coordination between the public and private sectors.

Next, EduFin Summit will debut a new participatory workshop format; Noelia Cámara, principal economist at BBVA Research, will play the role of facilitator in a 'design thinking' session, that will offer the opportunity to anyone following the event to express their ideas about the challenges raised in the session.

Financial education and financial well-being

On May 26, the roundtable will discuss how financial health can contribute to achieving a greater well-being, a topic emphasized by experts in prior editions.

Helen Gibbons, member of the Board of Directors of Better Finance, is an expert who has always stressed that “financial education should occupy a more prominent place in people's lives”, as she said during her last appearance at the event, in this interview. She will be joined at the roundtable by representatives of the financial industry, such as Dagmar Van der Plas, Global Director of the Think Forward Initiative and sustainability manager ING and Evelyn Stark, Interim Head and Financial Health leader, MetLife Foundation and Nigel Moden, EMEIA Financial Services Banking and Capital Markets Leader, EY, who has said that, “banks must transform their businesses so that they are more sustainable, resilient and customer-centric."

Pia Roman Tayag, Director of the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), will deliver one of the two final speeches that will mark the conclusion of the EduFin Summit 2021. UNSGSA's mission is to promote financial inclusion for development, through its strategic and sustained promotion.

On April 26, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, special advisor and global promoter for this special body since 2009, on the occasion of the launch of the joint European Commission/OECD-INFE project develop a financial competence framework for the European Union, stated that this a framework will help households to be more resilient and “our economies to recover and strengthen. And this is of interest to everyone.”

José Manuel González-Páramo, Chairman of the Advisory Council of the BBVA Center for Financial Education and Capability will close this year’s edition. González-Páramo opened de 2019 event emphasizing that "financial education requires a collective effort and long-term thinking.” His remarks will mark the event of this virtual forum, which will explore how financial knowledge can contribute to build a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable society.

To view the complete details of the event, including the agenda and the full list of experts participating in each session, please click here.

If you wish to follow the different live sessions of EduFin Summit 2021, please register for free by filling out the form available here.